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Extension Extras Enrichments: Calming Jar


July 21, 2020 -

Young children have a hard time explaining how they are feeling and learning how to express those feelings. Many times young children have a hard time calming down when they are upset or after they have had an exciting day.

This can be very frustrating for parents, but these situations are a chance for young children to learn to identify and express their emotions.

A calming jar can help children learn how to control their emotions. When your child gets upset or overly excited, they shake the jar and then watch the glitter settle, giving them time to calm down.


  • Clear container
  • Water 
  • Glitter glue 
  • Glue
  • Optional: strong glue to hold top shut.


  1. Fill the clear container mostly full with warm water. 
  2. Add as much glitter glue and glue as you want. You can also add food coloring to change colors if you would like or more glitter. Fill the container up to the top with water. 
  3. Place the lid tightly back on the container and shake it up until the glue dissolves into the water.
  4. Use the strong holding glue to glue the top onto the container. 
  5. Shake up the jar and enjoy!

Note: Wait a few hours for the holding glue to dry before leaving the child unattended with the jar.

How to use

When your child gets upset, they can shake up the container and then set the container down and watch while the glitter settles down to the bottom, giving them time to calm down. 

Do this as many times as a child feels they need to in order to help them calm down.  

A calming jar can help children learn how to control their emotions and self-regulate.

This material was funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The grant was received under award number 2016-41520-255-64, a part of the children, Youth and Families at risk program.


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